under-informed

Some time ago (has it been weeks or months? I’m not entirely sure. Timelines have become something of a blur, and perhaps not always relevant), my department was granted access to a new lunch room at work. We have been segregated from the main pharmacy since April (?) so we cannot use the kitchen space there. This new lunch room has the added perk of having a TV, so in my lunch breaks I sometimes watch TV.

Sometimes I watch the news, or a random cooking show, or some snippet of a random movie (SBS shows “world movies” during the day). If I can’t be bothered watching anything, I just put on the radio (ABC Classic, of course). Initially I browsed a lot, and I discovered that ABC have a channel dedicated to educational shows for primary and secondary school students, covering a broad variety of topics from physics and chemistry to history and social sciences. Often I watch this channel because I find it is more informative, interesting and useful than the news.

The other day, the program that happened to be on while I was having lunch was Lest we forget what? — a short show about the WWI Gallipoli campaign. I almost didn’t watch it because it is something that I was taught a lot about throughout school …or so I thought.

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music lessons

I had mentioned in my last post that I was learning to play the piano. This has been going on since January this year, and was a decision made on various factors. The main reason I wanted to learn piano (or any instrument at all) was because, after enjoying listening to classical music so much, I wanted to also know how to play it. I suppose it’s not too dissimilar to the desire to write being born from a love of reading.

All through primary school, weekly music classes were mandatory. For younger children, if I remember correctly, this consisted mostly of singing and learning about rhythm. From Grade 3 or 4, we were made to buy recorders, and were taught how to read sheet music. Continue reading

a revision of goals and reading

[This post is a continuation from my post last week about reading goals.]

Going from reading to study, I’ve decided to commit at least another two years to my self-guided Persian/Farsi studies. I think I will need the rest of this year to finish working my way through the text book I bought, and then another year to be able to read The Little Prince and other texts that my friend has lent me. I’m not sure that all of this will enable me to hold an actual conversation with someone, but I hope I can reach a level of proficiency that I’m happy with and that my friend approves of.

And while on the topic of study, I suppose I ought to announce some sort of commitment to my CPD (continuing professional development). Last year, I attained the requisite 40 CPD points reasonably early on in the year, and very much neglected it for the rest of the year in favour of Persian and other things. Now I’m at a point where I feel like my knowledge is not nearly as polished as it used to be, and I realise I need to make this a regular thing rather than a “cram as many CPD activities into the shortest amount of time” thing. This will probably mean regular reading of Pharmacy journals, and maybe watching online lectures when I can. Continue reading

dissecting a childhood memory

My primary school, in the years that I was there, had a sort of miniature forest planted in a corner of the school grounds, near the staff carpark. There was a little dirt path that curved and wound its way through the mini forest, and connected the playground at one end with the little pond at the other. Along the way, there were a few benches, so one could sit and enjoy the serenity.

I hadn’t thought of that little forest in a very long time, but the other day, when I was walking down the street in the middle of the day, and the wind rushed through the trees that I was passing under – at that precise moment, I thought of that little forest, and for a split second, I was back there, sitting on a bench about midway down the path, reading a book. It was exactly as Anne Lamott describes in Bird by Bird – the way random, seemingly insignificant memories resurface out of nowhere years after the fact, and years since you last thought of them.

In this case, however, I think my mind might have been primed toward that kind of memory. This post isn’t actually about memories or forests. It’s about childhood and change.  Continue reading

a few thoughts on water

Walking through the rain the other day, I was thinking about the sensory assault one can receive from rain: The sight of it can be daunting or magnificent. The smell and feel of it might be refreshing or dampening to the spirits. And there’s always the sound – rhythmic and relentless.

Now and then, when I ruminate about rain in this way, I’m reminded of a lesson I received in Grade 2.  Continue reading

the joy of learning

All through my childhood and school years, I did quite well academically. I liked school (mostly), I enjoyed learning new things, and I relished any opportunity to show that I was a bright and capable student (except I was never that kid who put their hand up to answer questions in class).

After finishing high school, I went straight into university, and did my Pharmacy degree. Although there was a bit of an adjustment phase to this new learning structure, I did enjoy university too. There was something of a thrill in being presented with this new level of intellectual challenge.

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